I Went to a Garden Party

I've almost let September expire without a post, didn't I? Panic ye not! Let's catch up, shall we? You might want to get a chilled beverage...this one will be a long one!

To say this month has been a roller coaster ride is an understatement. Started on a high note...plummeted into a valley...rolled up to another mountain top. Whew! What an adventure it has been!

September 5 — 12: We were off to see M-I-C-K-E-Y  M-O-U-S-E and all his friends at Walt Disney World in Orlando, to celebrate Mr. T's very special, milestone birthday. Click here to hear! 

It was fabulous from start to finish. Missy M is our resident expert in all things WDW, dating back to her time spent in the Disney College Intern Program (2002-3), when she worked in Epcot. She diligently planned our 2015 time together, getting us in the right place at the right time...and even allowing for a couple of rest days along the way. We booked in at the Lake Buena Vista Hilton (using HiltonHonors points...;-), which is comparable to being "on property" since they have bus service to/from the Disney Transportation Center...making getting around so much easier than having to use our car for every trip. And because Mr. T is a Diamond HHonors member, one of the perks was full breakfast every day...whacking our food budget by a third. Pass those eggs, please!

We started our Disney Adventure* on the evening of our arrival, with Birthday Celebration and Fireworks-viewing at the California Grill, atop the Contemporary Hotel. Here are some photos of that special occasion.

Our first park was Animal Kingdom...a great place to start.

We then took one of our Rest Days, with M and me heading to the Spa at the Grand Floridian followed by a bit of shopping and lunch at the Polynesian Resort. Mr. T chose a book and a sojourn to the pool.

Next up: Magic Kingdom! 

"Be our guest...be our guest...
'Try the gray stuff, it's delicious;
Don't believe us...ask the dishes!'"

And then Hollywood Studios...

And finally, Epcot...

We needed a Rest Day after all of that...to get us ready to make the long drive back up I-75.

September 13 — 20: After an overnight in GA, we headed back home so I could have DeQuervain's Release surgery on my left wrist...and carve out a few days of recovery time. I think I mentioned in my previous post that I needed to schedule an appointment with my orthopedic doc to get another cortisone shot for yet another flair of the DeQuervain's tendinitis (which has been described in previous posts). Tried to do that. He just shook his head; said "no can do." Only option left for relief of the pain was surgery. Oh well, can't say he hadn't warned me...it's just that this wasn't exactly the best timing, you know?

This low point in the month was not nearly as rough as I'd feared, since my surgery went very well...and I had zero problems with either the IV or the anesthesia (unlike my last day surgery for cataract removal...which caused me to anticipate another negative experience). Other than dealing with the healing of the surgery site itself and a big, old wrapped bandage, I would say this event was a piece of cake. The only real hiccup was that, due to swelling in my hand and fingers, they had to cut my wedding ring off at the hospital...a sad but necessary precaution. My ring will be fixed, and meanwhile I'm wearing my Great Aunt Eloise's delicate wedding ring, which Mr. T placed on my finger with a precautionary "with this ring..." 

September 21 — 26: Chauffeured to Atlanta by Mr. T, where I hopped a plane to Omaha to attend the biggest garden party for MGs, held biennially: the 2015 International Master Gardener Conference in Council Bluffs, IA. The pups were safe with Missy M for the week, so T could head back East to D. C. while I had a first-rate time...in spite of the bandaged and recovering wrist.

I think I have mentioned, either in this blog or on Facebook, I submitted two proposals for presentations for this Conference last year, and both were selected. I delivered the first one on Wednesday afternoon: QR Codes and Demo Gardens: A Match Made in Heaven; and the second one on Thursday morning: Creating a Leadership Pipeline for Local Volunteer Groups

I'm thrilled to report that both were well-attended; both were well-received; and both exceeded my own expectations for good experiences. As a matter of fact, the entire week exceeded my expectations. A highlight for me personally occurred on the last day, when the two Korean representatives (whose session I was attending...and who had attended both of my sessions) agreed to a picture with me...and then asked if they could snap one on their own camera!

 "If you had it all to do over again, would you?" You better believe it! (And I may get to do just that at the 2017 IMGC, to which I've been invited to submit a proposal...or two...;-)

— a last flower photo from Omaha

So that brings me to this final week in September...leading into the first week of October. Where am I now? Well, I'm catching my breathe at Missy M's. Since she has a birthday later on this week, Mr. T is planning his work-travel schedule to put him as close to the Georgia line as possible on Friday...so he can join the celebration. Oh yes, we intend to celebrate. And there will be presents...and, of course, cake!

We'll need plenty of happy thoughts to carry over into the second week of October, when Mr. T is scheduled for knee replacement. He's done his pre-op visits with the surgeon (X-rays), with the hospital (CT scan, as well as anesthesia), and with the physical therapist (to plan his post-operative visits). He's watched a video or two...or more...so he has a good idea of what will happen. Now, it's just waiting...until October 7. Wait...wait...wait. 

Ah well, while we wait, we can eat cake!


*I created a Shutterfly Album of our 2015 Disney Adventure. I do hope you can access it here:  


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